This article shows you how to access Google's apps and services (without sideloading) on Huawei phones and tablets that don't support Google Mobile Services (GMS).
We're fast-approaching one year since the US government placed Huawei on its 'entity list' and there's a distinct lack of light the end of the tunnel, as far as getting GMS (not to mention the Play Store) up and running on the Chinese company's Android-powered phones and tablets.
Using mobile-optimised Google web apps
With Google apps, for the most part, rendered unusable without GMS on Huawei devices - the only safe alternative is to rely on their web-based counterparts. Luckily, Google has created mobile-friendly web-based versions of a number of its most popular services, including Google Calendar, Gmail, YouTube.
Open the following links on your Huawei device's web browser and sign in with your Google account details to access them:
- Google Calendar
- Google Contacts
- Google Drive
- Google Keep
- Google Maps
- Google News
- Google Photos
- Google Play Books
- Google Play Movies
- Google Podcasts
- Google One
- Google Search
- Google Translate
- YouTube Music
Huawei's own efforts
It was discovered late last year, not long after the launch of the Mate 30 Series, that there was at least one workaround that restored Google Play Services and allowed full access to the Play Store and Play-Protected apps once again, however, the means to regain such functionality came at the cost of security, with the need to grant permissions and account access to a relatively unknown source in order to complete the process.
Under the cloud formed by the US trade ban, Huawei instead set about building up its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) platform and attracting developers to its own app store - the AppGallery.
Related: Best apps in Huawei AppGallery
In the six months between the launch of the Mate 30 Series, in September 2019, and the P40 Series, in March 2020, Huawei confirmed that the AppGallery had gained some 10 million new active monthly users (bringing the total to over 400 million) and enticed over 300,000 new developers to release or build their apps for the AppGallery (bringing the total cited number of app partners and developers to over 1.3 million).
Despite all this, the AppGallery itself still lacks some of the biggest apps frequenters of the Google Play Store will be accustomed to; including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. As for Google's own apps, however, they remain inaccessible to the current lineup of Huawei's phones and tablets, with attempts to reinvoke GMS by tech-savvy tinkerers only met with failure.
Some Google apps can be sideloaded (the process of installing the app files from third-party sources), however, Google itself has warned users of the risks associated with such a process and, generally speaking, unless you're 100% confident about the source of the app or APK file you're loading onto your device, you shouldn't leave yourself open to hacking or data theft by installing it.